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Culture club: “We are seeing an increased appetite for heritage licensing”

LicensingSource chats to Natasha Dyson, co-founder and licensing director at ARTiSTORY about how its licensing programmes continue to develop, challenges and focuses for 2022.

“All our museum partners have been affected by the Covid restrictions, some more than others. International travel has been extremely difficult, drastically reducing oversees visits for tourism, and many have had to operate with reduced capacity. Those less affected were Dunhuang and the Brooklyn Museum.

Although Dunhuang lacked international visitors, they have benefited from increased domestic tourism in China, so haven’t really been affected.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Museum has had a very active period, moving exhibitions forward and also seeing members and guests returning en masse to enjoy the diverse artefacts and artworks available to view. Although the world paused, the Brooklyn Museum continued to move forward on all fronts.

Overall, we are seeing an increased appetite for heritage licensing – as evergreen brands they offer longevity and security to licensees.

In the UK, many heritage organisations have quite broad licensing programmes in their home territory, but less so in other markets. The National Gallery is a perfect example of this and demonstrates why they will benefit from working with ARTiSTORY. We are also seeing increased interest from organisations wanting to enter the licensing space, having watched the success of their counterparts.

Now that we have completed the development of our 2022 themes and design assets we are focusing on securing licensees, retailers, direct to consumer brands and manufacturers, ready to launch products in SS22. As the master licensee for our museum partners, not only do we have merchandise development and retail operation rights, we also have rights to sub licence across multiple product categories including apparel, accessories, home, HBA, food and beverage, paper products, digital, location-based entertainment and experiences.”

This feature originally appeared in the autumn 2021 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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